German Biotechnology for the Chinese Market
China is now one of the most dynamic economies in the world – and is also very active in the field of biotechnology. A delegation from Germany had the chance to gain an insight into the current state of affairs in Chinese biotechnology at the fourth BioChina in Jinan (Shandong Province). The combined convention and trade fair also provided the organisational parameters for the third meeting of the German-Chinese Working Group on the Medical Industry and Biotechnology.
This working group was set up with BIO Deutschland involvement in 2008 by the Federal Economics Ministry and the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in Changsha. The German-Chinese Sub-Working Group on Biotechnology, which is chaired by Albrecht Läufer (www.corvay.com), a member of BIO Deutschland, and by George Fu Gao, Vice President of the Beijing Institutes of Life Science (www.biols.cas.cn), primarily discussed new joint projects that have yet to be launched. Suggestions included the implementation of a Chinese-German databank to facilitate the rapid and effective location of suitable cooperation partners. The possibility of contract manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals in China was also discussed. Other suggestions by and expressions of interest from the German sub-working group participants were presented to the Chinese participants. Responses from the Chinese side are expected during the coming weeks.
During the plenary presentation at the working group meeting, the Chinese participants showed a great interest in including the presentations on Germany as a biotech location and on the individual sub-working group members at the plenary meeting of the BioChina convention next year. In the dialogue with Gao, Läufer said that the convention must first develop an international format.
At the end of the session, the minutes of the third working group meeting were signed by Mr Ren Zhiwu (Deputy Director General, NDRC) and Mr Manfred Schubert (Federal Economics Ministry), the heads of the Chinese and German delegations (see photo).
The trip can be summarised as follows: The first face-to-face contact between the Chinese and the German chairmen of the sub-working group was friendly and constructive. Further discussions in the coming months will show whether the Chinese side follows up the topics that were discussed and pursues them in concrete terms. If this is the case, then the sub-working group, and thus the activities by BIO Deutschland and the lobby groups also linked to the working group (VBU, Association of Germany Biotechnology Companies; DIB, the German Association of Biotechnology Industries and VFA, Biotech within Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies), will become an excellent platform for the development of business for German biotech companies in China.